A+E Networks believes its well-situated to navigate the Hollywood shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, Group President Paul Buccieri says they have enough new content to get them almost all the way through next year.
“We could go between now and Q3, through Q3 of next year, having fresh content on our air,” Buccieri told TheWrap. “That puts us competitively at a much more favorable place than a lot of the competition.”
A+E Networks, which consists of flagship A&E, History, Lifetime, LMN, Biography, Vice TV and FYI, has more than 1,000 of new programming ready to go immediately, with more than 50 series in post-production, totaling 2,200 hours. That doesn’t include the 50 new movies for Lifetime and LMN.
“We were in production [on the movies] and got them into post over 8 weeks ago. So we’re not being impacted currently at all,” Buccieri continued. Lifetime and LMN annually put out around 200 a year between the two networks, Buccieri said, which makes them adept at condensed filming schedules. A+E Networks also uses a lot of interviews and stock footage for its documentary series, which can be put together remotely.
A+E Networks has been among the few to announce new programming for the coming year, given that the broadcast pilot season was shelved due to the pandemic, which has left the fate of many networks’ fall schedules twisting in the wind.
History channel has renewed “The Men Who Built America” and “The Food That Built America” for second seasons, while sister network A&E has ordered 160 more episodes of “Live PD. That’s in addition to new projects with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Roberts, Bill Clinton and Jamie Lee Curtis.
“We’re using this time right now to be in full pre-production on our movies, unscripted series and our scripted series,” said Buccieri. “We’re not going to let these 8 or 10 weeks slow us down. We’re using that as time to get everything in line to be ready to go to physical shooting.”